All-new 2012 Ford Focus Electric
If you're trying to get your hands on a plug-in Ford, it should soon get a little easier.
Ford will more than quadrouple the number of dealers able to sell its plug-in models, the Ford Focus Electric, C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid this year.
According to The Detroit News, more than 900 dealers will be eligible to sell the vehicles by this spring, up from 200 near the end of last year.
The first 67 Ford dealers were certified to sell the brand's electric models last April. Those dealers were located in California, New York and New Jersey, but boosted by the addition of plug-in hybrids to the range, the number of dealers with specially-trained staff has increased significantly.
Plug-in dealers will also have at least two on-site charging stations.
In total, more than a third of national Ford dealers will be able to sell plug-ins. That still lags behind GM's efforts with the Chevrolet Volt, though--about four-fifths of Chevy dealers, around 2,600 sites, can now sell the Volt--even though they have to purchase expensive tooling enabling them to service it.
The newly-certified Ford plug-in dealers will be spread throughout the country. That will help the company keep up with demand for its plug-in models, which should grow throughout 2013--just as its regular hybrids have sold well.
The Focus Electric is proving a harder sell, though. Ford moved only 685 electric Focus in 2012, over 900 fewer than it built.
As a result, we've recently seen some tempting lease deals on the electric car. Perhaps some extra dealers will make them easier to sell, too.